SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - The White House has "terribly mishandled" the process of picking the next chair of the Federal Reserve, allowing the U.S. central bank to be politicized and potential nominees to be denigrated in the process, a top Fed official said on Monday.

Picking a Fed chair "should not be a public debate," Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told the Texas Association of Independent Bankers.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, considered President Barack Obama's preference, withdrew his name from consideration a week ago, saying his confirmation would incite acrimony.

Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen is now seen as the front-runner.

As a policy dove, she stands at the opposite end of the policy spectrum from the hawkish Fisher, who said she "would make a great chairman," adding that they exchange a kiss at the start of every Fed policy-setting meeting.

Fisher said there are other possibilities for the post, without naming any.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by James Dalgleish)